All posts tagged Audi

1986 Audi 80 Sport

It’s easy to get lost in the world of cars that didn’t come to the United States. Enthusiasts in the U.S. swoon over supermodels that never came here; the M5 Touring(s), the Rallye Golf and Audi RS2 name just a few of the many high performance headliners that seem to pop up nearly daily as examples of the arbitrary rules that dictate what comes in to the U.S. market. However, what always tickles me is seeing the lesser known models, and amongst Audi and Volkswagen products there are a plethora of models that are relatively unknown to U.S. enthusiasts. In part, that’s because the U.S. model range did not always mimic what was for sale in Europe – not only in name, but at some points in chassis as well. The Audi B2 is an excellent example of this – to U.S. fans, for example, say “Coupe Quattro” when referring to the B2 chassis and immediately lesser versed individuals will assert that it never existed without a turbo and flares. Of course, they’re wrong – but there were many other models that we didn’t get from the small Audi lineup as well.

In Europe, 1986 was the last year of the B2 Audi 80 sedan – in 1987, it was replaced by the all-new B3 which wouldn’t be seen in the U.S. until 1988. As with U.S. models, the B2 was refreshed in late 1984 with new and more aerodynamic body bits such as headlights and bumpers. Visually, the differences between U.S. and European bumpers – for most of the lineup – was gone at that point. True, underneath there were differences; European cars received integrated fog lights where U.S. cars had blinkers (and the blinkers moved to the reflector blank area for U.S. cars). Now, I say “for most of the lineup” because there was a model which was really part Type 81 and part Type 85 available to Europeans – the Audi 80 Sport:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 80 Sport on eBay

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1982 Audi Coupe

Just when you think you know everything about a car, one pops up to surprise you. In today’s case, it’s the color which this early U.S. bound Audi Coupe was delivered in – LA3Y Surinam Red Metallic. It’s seriously rare and the first time in my many years of Audi Coupe following that I’ve seen one. Now, off the bat many would be forgiven for believing that all 2-door Audis from this period were GTs; however, the Coupe didn’t become the “GT” until the late 1983/84 models. There are actually a host of changes that differentiate them from the early GTs. First off, the early cars carried the code WE 2.1 liter inline-5 instead of the later KX or NG equipped 2.2/2.3 Coupe GTs. It wasn’t much less power than the later cars, but was rated at 100 instead of the later 110/130 horsepower GTs. Gearing was longer, too – intended to give the GT better fuel economy, coupled with the lower power the early Coupes are a few seconds slower to 60 than the ’84 up cars. The early cars also ran 4×100 instead of 4×108 wheels with smaller brakes. Inside, there were no big changes to the Type 81 between 1981 and 1984, though some of the interiors are more rare to see. In this case, the build sticker tells us this car was equipped with interior “KC”, which thanks to the B2 Resource Guide tells us this was the Negro interior with Tweed Check. The car was also pretty heavily – and somewhat oddly – optioned. For example, the buyer selected sunroof, air conditioning and power mirrors, but oddly not power windows. Whatever their motivation, the buyer clearly coveted this expensive Coupe as witnessed by the condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1993 Audi S4

Recently I was reminiscing while looking through old magazine photos and came across the Car and Driver comparison of the Mercedes-Benz 500E, the BMW M5, and the then new Audi S4. I still remember reading that article; the Audi placed last and seemed seriously outclassed in terms of horsepower, acceleration even curb appeal. If you wanted the race car dressed as a sedan, the M5 was the natural choice. If you wanted a muscle car with room for four executives, then the 500E couldn’t be beaten. And on paper, the S4 was really a poor comparison to those cars. C&D did point out that the Audi was technically more advanced than the other two; it was the only turbocharged one, and the all-wheel drive system was already legendary even in 1992. But people that opted to buy the S4 were doing so not for the technology, but for the capability of the understated Audi. Several generations of each model on, these are still the cars that many longingly remember as the height of their respective marque’s build quality and driver involvement – and certainly that’s the case for the Audi. While it was underpowered out of the box compared to its countrymen, the stout drivetrain and engine easily accepted higher levels of boost. It was the first Audi that really got aftermarket support – a group of enthusiasts who still boast that this is the best car that Audi ever made. The workhorses of the ski-set, few have led pampered lives and not many remain in good shape – making it a treat to find a clean one. Despite growing acknowledgement that this car was one of the great sport sedans, prices on even very clean examples of the C4 S4 remain much more affordable than the BMW and Mercedes-Benz competition today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on Craigslist.org

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1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant

Earlier this week, I wrote up dueling 5-cylinder automatic wagons in the “beige-off” between the 1986 Quantum Wagon and 1987 Audi 5000S Avant. The net result of that write up, effectively, was that if you really want to dive into the ownership pool of one of these wagons, most would prefer the more desirable versions of the car. For the Quantum, that meant the Syncro version, and unsurprisingly for the Audi that meant turbocharging and quattro all-wheel drive. In both cases, that raises the complexity factor a few notches – but there are still examples of these long-lived wagons making their owners happy today. I spent a few years with a 200 Avant, and loved many aspects of it; however, I came away saying there was only one way I’d get into an older Audi Avant again – if it was one of the limited run, 3B 20V equipped 1991 examples. Outwardly, you had to be a sharp eye to spot the differences. Some of them were quite subtle; for example, there were no badges outside of the front and rear rings and a subtle “quattro” grill badge on the ’91 200, unlike the previously badged 10V examples. From the roof down, there were no differences other than that until you got to the fenders, which were subtly but notably flared. The wheels were still BBS mesh wheels as they had been in 1989 and 1990, and though they were still 15″ in diameter, they were now 7.5″ wide instead of 6″. Those larger wheels also hid a new brake system dubbed “UFOs” by enthusiasts; the floating rotor design that was engineered to haul the heavy Audi down from triple digit speeds. And triple digit speeds it was now quite capable of, with a healthy 50 horsepower boost over previous 200s thanks to 10 more valves and electronic fuel injection in the new “3B” 20 valve turbocharged inline-5. Mated only to a manual transmission, less than 200 of these coveted Audis were imported at a time when they were both expensive and Audi was nearly on the outs with the American market:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avant on Craigslist New York

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1983 Audi Quattro

Despite my general love of all-things-Audi, even I have a hard time coming up with good condition examples of the marque from the early 1980s. For U.S. fans, there just isn’t a plethora to choose from. For example, when you search eBay for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or BMW models and sort by age, you’ll find usually several pages of examples before you get to the 1980s, where inevitably there will be a flood of models. When you switch to Audi, you’ll find three cars – and this is a good week. Fortunately for Audi fans, one of those three cars is the daddy – an original Audi Quattro. Few of these quite expensive turbocharged all-wheel drive Coupes made it to the U.S., and even fewer remain today; as I mentioned in the Coupe Week 1983 Quattro post. There was an excellent example of a low mile Quattro that had been repatriated to Europe, a trend which seems increasingly popular for the model which has more respect in the Fatherland than amongst U.S. enthusiasts. In fact, recently on our Facebook page one of the Quattros I posted prompted an enthusiasts to remark that the boxflared-fenders were reminiscent of the E30 M3 – without any acknowledgement that the Audi came on the scene well before the DTM star. So here’s your opportunity, Audi faithful, to keep one of the better examples of the limited-run Quattro on U.S. shores with this excellent 1983 Mars Red example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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